Following up on a very successful 2018 Small Group Battlefield Walk Series, Randal and German historian, Markus Klauer, will be offering two small-group tours in 2019:
1918-19 Reconstruction / Occupation Tour–15-20 September.
The war was over, but many in the AEF would remain in Europe for months or years. After more than four years of trench warfare, the towns in the Meuse-Argonne region were in shambles. Complete villages had been destroyed. Others were badly damaged, and four years of combat and shelling left the region littered with dead bodies, instruments of war and unexploded ordnance. All of this had to be addressed starting in late 1918.
The terms of the Armistice gave the defeated Imperial German Army only fourteen days to evacuate the invaded countries, and only another sixteen days to evacuate the West Bank of the Rhein (Rhine) River and three 30-kilometer long bridgeheads on the East Bank of the Rhein–Koeln, Mainz and Koeblenz. By Christmas 1918, eight AEF divisions would be stationed in Germany. American forces would remain in Germany until 1923.
This tour will focus on the last phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the immediate post-war period, and the American Zone of Occupation in Germany. For spouses and participants alike, it will also focus on the sights and culture of the Mosel and Rhein River Valleys. This is one of the most beautiful and historic regions of Germany and Germany’s major wine produce region.
Click on this link to read the entire tour flyer: Reconstruction and Occupation Tour Flyer Final
Ardennes 1944: 75th Anniversary “Battle of the Bulge” Small Group Battlefield Tour–2-6 October, 2019.
The War seemed to be close to an end, but then Hitler’s last major offensive on the Western Front took the Allies by surprise …
Hitler had decided to put all his eggs in one basket to defeat the Allies with one great push, the operation “Wacht am Rhein”. Starting on December 16 under terrible weather conditions the German Panzer Divisions broke through the thin American frontlines. Despite a strong resistance by several American units, the German Army made its way west. The famous “Kampfgruppe Peiper” advanced under circumstances that became tragic for all.
Soon the German units arrived at the main center of communication in that region, the town of Bastogne. The grim defense of Bastogne, mainly units from the 101st Airborne Division, became famous and stands now for the strong will of the Allied Commanders and the simple GIs to finally defeat the Third Reich.
On Christmas Eve (24 December) the reconnaissance battalion of 2nd Panzer reached the most western point of the bulge, only some kilometers away from the Meuse River at Dinant.
Already from December 22 on, American counter-attacks on the southern part of the bulge had started to open the way to Bastogne. Finally on December 26 the first Sherman tank made its way into the town. At latest from this day on, the German commanders realized that this offensive failed and that further fighting would be senseless. Nonetheless, the fights continued nearly until the end of January 1945.
Click on this link to read the entire tour flyer: Ardennes Tour Flyer Final
Randal will be available for a limited number of private hire tours between 22 and 29 September. There is also the possibility of dates before the Reconstruction or after the Ardennes tour. Contact Randal to book your space now.